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Chiang Rai

Things to see and do


  • Wat Phra Kaew
    4 stars

    This is the most highly revered wat in Chiang Rai and also, with it’s interesting museum and attractive grounds, the best one for a visit. Originally known as Wat Pa Yeah, (Temple of the Bamboo Grove), no-one is actually sure of its founding date but it has been around for a while and legend has ... read more

  • Wat Phra Singh
    3 stars

    Wat Phra Singh's principal entrance is situated down a small side street off Singhaklai Road – walk by the peach painted walls until you see the ornate white gateway. Directly ahead of you is the main worshipping hall with its elaborate tiered roof, constructed, it’s thought, in 1385 and which ... read more

  • Wat Rong Khun, Chiang Rai
    3.5 stars

    A visit to the famous ‘White Temple’, or Wat Rong Khun to give it it’s correct name, has become absolutely de rigeur for any visitor to Chiang Rai. Spectacular, spectacularly kitsch or just simply kitsch this highly ornate, all white, icing sugar temple c ... read more

  • Wat Prathat Doi Chom Thong
    3 stars

    According to Thai historians there has been a stupa on this low hill since the 10th century, when it was raised to hold a Buddha relic – hence the ‘Prathat’ title. The local king at the time – presumably Mon – ordered some relics which had come into his hands to be split between the 3 ... read more

  • Wat Huay Sai Khao
    4.5 stars

    Another entry into Chiang Rai’s highly unusual temple category is Phan district’s incredible Wat Huay Sai Khao. ... read more


  • Oub Kham Museum
    4.5 stars

    Oub Kham Museum was another of those sites where we moaned about the admission price but came out thoroughly glad we paid. An amazing and priceless display; beautifully presented in a spectacular setting. Seeing we had a particular interest in Southeast Asian ethnology the museum curator, ... read more

  • Baan Dam
    4 stars

    Another of Chiang Rai’s more extraordinary sites, in a town that’s blessed with several rather eccentric attractions, is the highly unusual Baan Dam. ... read more

  • Hill-tribe Museum and Population and Community Development Education Centre
    2.5 stars

    Not really sure how appropriate a ‘museum’ is when tens of thousands of the subject matter – i.e. hill-tribe minorities - live in the hills outside town? Perhaps cultural centre of something would have been better and contents are mostly everyday objects and standard traditional dress that ... read more


  • Chiang Rai Night Bazaar
    3.5 stars

    Chiang Rai's night bazaar is tiny compared to the famous one in Chiang Mai, but it makes up for its small size with a lively and friendly atmosphere and loads of good eats. Start by perusing the shopping stalls which offer similar albeit less abundant stuff as you'll find in Chiang Mai: hill-tribe ... read more

  • Municipal market
    4 stars

    There’s an extensive municipal market area off both sides of Uttarakit Road, (one block north of Thanalai), and goes by several names, including Talad Ngam Muang, Talad Tesaban and Talad Luang Chiang Rai. This sprawling labyrinth of indoor and pavement stalls is the city’s largest wet market ... read more

  • Chiang Rai Walking Street Market
    4 stars

    If your calendar doesn’t permit a visit to either of Chiang Mai’s Saturday or Sunday Walking Street markets then never fear — Chiang Rai also has a couple of good ones. ... read more

Cooking classes

  • Cooking classes
    3.5 stars

    If you haven’t done a course in Bangkok, Chiang Mai or elsewhere yet then this may be your last chance to put into practice some Thai cookery before you head off on a slow boat down the Mekong. We came across at least two well publicised classes, though there may be more, and they looked equally ... read more

Hiking, walking tours and itineraries

  • Trekking from Chiang Rai
    4 stars

    As Chiang Rai province has less mountain and forest cover than Mae Hong Son or Chiang Mai, trekking opportunities are correspondingly more limited. The principal areas for organised trekking are in Lum Nam Kok National Park north of the Kok River up towards Mae Salong and southwards to Doi Chang. ... read more

  • Motorcycling the Chiang Rai loop
    3.5 stars

    The vast majority of the roads in northern Thailand are paved and 99 times out of a 100 a Honda Dream will be more than sufficient (as long as you don't mind the occasion sections spent permanently in first gear). ... read more

  • Chiang Rai City Walking Tour
    4 stars

    Busy Chiang Rai City doesn’t immediately appear a good candidate for walking tours but, keeping to the back streets and dodging through a few market lanes, you can do a very pleasant and interesting little half day stroll around town. ... read more

  • Kok Valley Cycling tour
    4.5 stars

    Perhaps better referred to as “Up the Kok Without a Paddle“, since this day tour up the left bank of the Kok River and returning to Chiang Rai by the right bank involves no boats at all and is eminently suitable for cycling or, for the less energetic, mot ... read more

Day trips

  • Doi Tung
    4.5 stars

    Chiang Rai’s spectacular Doi Tung Range stretches from Mae Fah Luang in the south up to Mae Sai district in the north, with the Burmese border demarking the mountains’ western slopes. These rugged peaks rise to over 1,500 metres and as with Chiang Mai’s D ... read more

  • Shorter Mae Salong loop
    4 stars

    Wonderful scenery, varied sites and relatively easy riding make this short version of the Mae Salong loop through the mountains of western Chiang Rai a great trip if you have a couple of days to spare. ... read more

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